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After US President Donald Trump and his wife tested positive for the novel coronavirus, cheers rang out across social media – suggesting celebrants failed to grasp the reality of a Mike Pence presidency, or human feeling itself.

Trump announced in the wee hours of Friday morning that he and wife Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19, vowing to quarantine and recover. The president is experiencing mild symptoms, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday morning.

News of the diagnosis was met with unmitigated glee by the anti-Trump #Resistance set on social media. At 74, President Trump is one of the oldest commanders-in-chief in US history, and his rotund figure is also a risk factor for Covid-19 complications. His haters in the media and politics couldn’t resist publicly cheering on the virus, while others sarcastically sent their “thoughts and prayers.

👴 Older♂️ Male⚖️ Overweight The factors that make Trump more vulnerable to COVID-19 https://t.co/OK5eeh2MsRpic.twitter.com/aYme1EFEPh

Shocking & shameful. This now deleted tweet was the reaction to President Trump testing positive for Covid-19 from @ZaraRahim – former Obama White House staffer and Hillary Clinton’s former 2016 National Spokeswoman. pic.twitter.com/FKYGGPfWf9

Many of the president’s critics assumed Vice President Mike Pence would be similarly stricken with the virus by virtue of his closeness to the commander-in-chief, and instead fantasized about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi taking over.

President Pelosi is looking very healthy right now.

Trumpy and Melatonin have been tested positive for the COVID19 virus 🦠 Now we just need Mike Pence to step up to the plate and we’ll be swearing President Pelosi in by next Tuesday!😂

While Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden remained civil, others passive-aggressively struggled to contain their delight, resulting in an outbreak of concern-trolling as inveterate Trump-haters attempted to couch their hopes in scholarly ‘what-ifs’.

Who will be the first person in major media to ask what America does if Trump becomes a COVID-19 “long-hauler”

But as more than a few Trump supporters pointed out, openly wishing death on a sitting president wasn’t the kind of ‘new normal’ a hideously divided country really needed.

President PelosiI often disagreed with President Obama, sometimes vehemently, but it would never, ever, have occurred to me to wish him and his family dead.The nobility of the right the depths of the sewer left on display

Thread of blue ticks hoping Trump dies. Stay classy, Lefties. https://t.co/JGmq0FKRUV

And others went further, suspecting the president was deliberately infected with the virus — or that he was only faking it in order to “stay protected against assassination attempts leading up to the election.” 

One can never play chess in too many dimensions, apparently.

I’m just going to say what we’re all thinking.Trump was fine until the debate, where they set up microphones & podiums for him.Incubation period is usually 2-3 days.He tests positive a couple of days after the debate.I put nothing past the left. NOTHING.#TrumpHasCOVID

It’s easy to see why Trump-haters who have come to see the president as the source of all the world’s ills — apparently not remembering what the world was like before 2016 — would embrace a Covid-19 diagnosis. After pushing for the president to be removed on 25th Amendment (i.e. mental health) grounds for years, they can now claim his faculties are compromised by an infection that affects cognitive functioning in only a small percentage of patients.

Trump needs to step aside immediately! Covid-19 can involve systemic inflammation and effect cognitive function. Trump’s cognitive decline is already a problem, if he’s really tested positive we can’t have him in charge of the country till he’s fully recovered. #TrumpVirus

Those cheering on Trump’s illness in the hope that Pence, too, would be incapacitated appear to have a dim understanding of the virus, however. Even before the VP reportedly tested negative, the likelihood of a relatively fit 50-year-old dying of the infection is vanishingly small, standing at 0.9 percent, according to CDC data. Some studies place the rate even lower for those in their sixth decade, approximately 0.3 percent. 

While some of Trump’s biggest detractors have warned he’s ushering in a misogynistic Christian theocracy in the mold of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, it’s Pence — a born-again, fundamentalist Christian who refuses to be in a room alone with a woman who is not his wife — who would be the more likely of the pair to adopt such a regime.

The vice president has not only advocated for teaching creationism as science and staunchly opposed gay marriage, suggesting an amendment banning it be added to the constitution, but he has also expressed sentiments interpreted as being in favor of gay conversion therapy in the past (though he has since said they were taken out of context). As governor of Indiana, Pence infamously reacted to news of a growing HIV epidemic in his state with foot-dragging and a promise to “pray on it” that permitted hundreds to be infected before action was taken. Regardless of their hatred for the Bad Orange Man, Trump death-watchers might do better to pray for his speedy recovery, given Pence’s ideas.

One would think his history would make the VP anathema to the president’s left-wing critics, but they seem perfectly ready to power through a period of religious totalitarianism in order to get their precious President Pelosi, who — they fantasize — would appoint failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as her VP, “fixing” what the 2016 election “broke.”

Yes but Pelosi could resign at any time during that VP nomination/confirmation process, and since thus there is no VP yet, then the House Speaker Hillary Clinton would be next in line to be President.

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